Posts Tagged ‘Cream’

Peach Melba Trifle


Trifles was one of the first desserts I ever ate. Or made at home. My mom would only make them in the months of Ramadan. I remember waiting in anticipation as she assembled the different layers. First she would make the jelly layer and pour into a white and blue ceramic platter. A platter she still has to this day. One I may need to steal on my next visit to Dar.


I would poke the jelly in the fridge every few minutes and lick my finger, pink tell tale signs on my pointing finger to give away my crimes. Of course, if the jelly had set, my mom would never be surprised to find holes where I’d been poking around. 


She would then put a layer of cake, my most favorite part. I would always make sure to take a scoop from the edge where she would hide the extra cake scraps. Then the thick creamy canary yellow custard would be poured on followed by chopped apples and bananas. She would leave all this to soak from morning and by night, the custard would have partly penetrated the cake. Those soggy parts were my absolute favourite. 


That was her way. This is mine. Lots of cake soaked with raspberry jam and raspberries. Juicy peaches topped with dollops of creamy custard. And a generous helping of cream. But a few things remain the same. Thick luscious custard and moist pudding like cake. Some things never change.

Peach Melba Trifle

Ingredients:
100 g raspberries
60 g raspberry jam
40 ml pineapple juice
330 g Madeira cake, sliced
4 saturn peaches, sliced
500 ml thick custard
280 ml double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
chopped pistachio nuts for garnishing 

Directions:
In a bowl, mix together the raspberries, jam and pineapple juice. Use a fork to muddle the berries slightly. Arrange the sliced cake at the bottom of the trifle dish. Top with berry mix followed by the sliced peaches. Pour the custard over the fruit and chill in the fridge for a few hours (2 hours at least for the cake to soak up the berry juices). Whip the cream with icing sugar until stiff peaks form. Top the custard with cream when it’s time to serve and garnish with pistachios. 

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Strawberry Cheesecake


Baking has become a much sought luxury in our house. With temperatures searing, the last thing I want to do is cook, let alone turn the oven on. Besides, we just moved this weekend. For the 10th time in 12 years. I think I’ve become good at it, requiring only 3 days to unpack all my boxes. My mother in law has been kind enough to feed us during this time. 

Such a luxury it is to not have to cook sometimes. However, when it’s a tiny 4 year old with hungry eyes looking up to you and asking for a treat, you have no choice but to oblige. Last week, Maryam decided she wanted to fast. Seeing her enthusiasm, I didn’t want to say no. To the fasting as well as the cooking.


Besides, I think it’s a good thing for her to become religiously aware so I agreed for her to fast till 1pm. I promised her a present and a menu decided by her. She chose a Minion Rush model, a water gun and a Hello Kitty puzzle. And to top that she also had her menu set out. Chicken nuggets with jelly and a strawberry cake. 


Thus began the task to bargain, on presents and menus. We debated whether she really needs three presents for a half day fast. Apparently, at four years of age, she does. After much debate, we whittled it down to a water gun. Perfect for the current weather. Of course, Hassan needed one too, fast or no fast.


On to menus, turning the oven on was not an option. I kid you not when I say the temperature was 46 degrees Centigrade. ‘How about doughnuts? Strawberry doughnuts with springles’ as she calls them. Hmmmmm. It seemed the theme was strawberries….and pink! 


So we settled on this cheesecake. Well, it was a cake, it had strawberries but best of all, it required no baking. Maryam happy, mummy happy. The cheesecake was light, yet satisfying. The lemony freshness went harmoniously with the strawberries. And there were hints of pink and red. Trust me when I say everyone was satisfied. 


So proud of my little lamb! She now wants to fast again so she can get her Minion Rush model!

Strawberry Cheesecake

Ingredients:
250 g digestive biscuits
100 g butter, melted
300 g cream cheese
120 g sour cream
125 g icing sugar
zest of 1 lemon
300 ml double cream
420 g strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp water 

Directions:
Butter and line a 9 inch springform or loose bottom baking tin with parchment. Put the biscuits into a bag and pound with a rolling pin until crushed to crumbs. Pour into a bowl and mix with the melted butter until thoroughly incorporated. Tip into prepared tin, pressing down gently, and refrigerate until firm. About 1 hour. 

Place the cream cheese, sour cream, icing sugar and lemon zest into a bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the double cream and beat for a further minute or so until well combined. The mixture will thicken slightly but you don’t want to over beat the cream (the consistency will be like cake batter). Spoon the mixture on top of the biscuit base, making sure there are no gaps or air bubbles. Smooth the top using a spatula. Set in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. 

Bring the cheesecake to room temperature before unmoulding. Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water and slice all the way round the tin in one smooth action. Open the springform and slip the cake from the base (it will slide easily because of the parchment) to a platter. You can also slide the parchment paper off if you wish. 

Combine the strawberries with icing sugar and let it sit whilst the cheesecake is coming to room temperature. When ready to serve, blend half the strawberry mixture with water until smooth. Strain and pour over cheesecake. Top with remaining strawberries and serve immediately. 

Notes: The amount of icing sugar in the strawberries will vary depending on how sweet your berries are. Make the strawberry puree on day of serving. 

Prep time: 10 minutes plus chilling
Serves: 6-8 people




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Creamy Date Pots


I have been meaning to make these creamy dessert pots for a while now. But truth to be to told, January was a long month for me. It was a month of of anxiety, a month of waiting, a month where life seemed to be on hold. A month where nothing seemed to matter.


I had my PET scan after two long years to see if my cancer was still in remission. The two weeks it took to get my results back really were the longest of my life. I was always on edge, jumping every time the phone rang, nervous, scared. 

I felt as though I couldn’t make any plans. Just in case. What if the results showed activity spots? More treatment? That would mean I wouldn’t be able to attend the Cirque du Soleil show that I had my heart set on. And I would be in hospital again. Who would plait Maryam’s hair each morning? Pick her up from school each afternoon? Bake her favorite muffins? Check on her before bed just to be sure she was still tucked in? Would I miss Hassan’s first steps? His first real word? Would he remember me when I came back from hospital?


On the other hand, I imagined the doctor calling me, telling me everything looked clear and wonderful. I pictured myself laughing out loud with joy, thanking him over and over. I ran over the scenario of giddily calling my parents on the phone and breathlessly telling them the good news as fast as the words would escape my quivering mouth.


It was an immense relief when I did hear back. ‘Everything looks wonderful.’ I won’t forget those melodious, beautiful words. The scrambled calls to my family that followed. The thankfulness in my heart and relief. The sheer exhaustion of worrying for so long had drained me and that night, I slept with my children. Those hugs that night- I think they both wondered why I held them so tightly and so closely.


The date pots were a dessert I’d been willing to make throughout that time. The ingredients were always on the counter, the intention was there. The heart wasn’t. But I knew their time had come when I bought myself these new teacups as a celebratory gift. They would be perfect together. It was a sweet, creamy, dreamy end to a difficult month. 

Creamy Date Pots

Ingredients:
2 cups cream
1/2 cup milk
3 tbs caster sugar
3 tbs date dhibs (syrup)
1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom
chopped pistachios to serve

Directions:
Add all the ingredients except the pistachios to a heavy bottom saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 mins. Let it cool slightly before pouring into cups or bowls. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. Serve with chopped pistachios. 

Serves 4-6 depending on cup size. 


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Blackberry Custard Tarts



   
 
 
She comes every year, yet I cannot get enough of her. She’s like the house guests we always look forward to, making sure to lay clean crisp sheets on the bed for them and lavender bags in the cupboard. After a few days we grow tired of them and crave to have our house back in order.
 
 
This time was no different. When she arrived, her bags were bursting at the seams. She brought with her berries and currants. Zucchini and cantaloupes. I loved seeing the layers upon layers of gems that slowly came out of her suitcase. My heart was giddy and my brain throbbed with menu plans.

 
To fill her days, we would go for a swim to cool down. Of course, a popsicle had to follow. She loved having us devour melon with sea salt and nibble on cherries. She beckoned us for picnics under the shade.  My most favorite thing about her though is the visitors she brought with her. Whilst she was here, my nieces visited. Then there was Akber’s brother. Finally, friends from far away graced our humble abode.
 
 
Every morning, she welcomed us with beams of golden light darting through the lace curtains. Every morning…..without fail. Even when she was sad, she never threatened rain. She was our alarm clock to wake, our cue to put the kids to sleep when she set.
 

Towards the end, she unraveled treasures of ripened peaches, dusky plums. We ate them over the kitchen counter, their juices trickling down our elbows. Then, unashamedly, we licked our elbows. She didn’t judge. Just when we thought that was the last of her bounty, she surprised us with one last present. Little nuggets of sweetness. In different shades of red, ruby, crimson. Tomatoes. We made soups, roasted them with honey, ate them as is.
 
 
This time though, She behaved and didn’t outstay her welcome. Gave us enough to savor but also had us begging for more. So until next time. Summer……we will miss you. But before she bid us adieu, she let us in on a little secret.

 
‘Shortly, someone very special will visit you- her name is Autumn. Someone that will bring you the smells of fall, cinnamon and nutmeg. She will have boxes upon boxes of apples and pears. She will entice you to wear your best angora sweaters and to dance to the pitter patter of gentle rain. You will know she is here when you see an envelop of fog in the morning.
 
 
Don’t forget to make her a warm cup of flavored tea when she arrives. And in exchange she will lay a carpet of leaves for you- rusty shades of orange and red to thank you with. However, don’t be so fickle and forget me. I am sure to return. As I always do, year after year.’
 
We will miss you Summer. You are always welcome, anytime.


Blackberry Custard Tarts

Ingredients:
Pastry Crust:
200 gms butter, room temperature
100 gms sugar
1 egg
300- 350 gms all purpose flour
 
Custard filling:
300ml double cream
1/4 cup + 1 tbs sugar
3 egg yolks, lightly whisked
1 vanilla bean, deseeded and stick discarded
1/2 cup blackberries, halved
 
Directions:
To make tart bases, cream the butter and sugar using the paddle attachment on your mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Stir in 300 grams of flour. If the mixture doesn’t clean the sides of the bowl, keep adding more flour a tablespoon at a time until it does. Shape the dough into a disc and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
 
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade. Grease your tart bases and roll out the tart dough using minimal flour to a 1/4 inch thickness. Fill the tart bases and use your fingers to mould tart dough into shape. Pierce the tarts with a fork and bake for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
 
In the mean time, make the filling by mixing all the filling ingredients together until incorporated. Fill tart shells and with custard filling and place 5-6 blackberry halves into each tart. Bake for a further 15-20 minutes until custard is set.  
 
Can be eaten immediately but we refrigerated ours and ate them cold.
 
Filling enough for 8 tarts. Leftover dough can be frozen

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One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Whipped Chocolate Frosting


You may think from my absence on this blog that not much cooking has been happening in our kitchen. Quite the contrary actually. If you follow me on Instagram you have probably seen what I’ve been up to in the kitchen.


Correction- what we have been up to. With Maryam off from school, baking and cooking is a great way to entertain and keep her busy- she ALWAYS wants to help. We have made orzo salad with arugula and sweet cherry tomatoes, soft doughy bread rolls, home made pizza with the most flavorful and easy tomato sauce ever. Must share that one soon.


This one bowl chocolate cake has been a favorite. I cannot tell you how many times we have made this cake over the last few months. July and August is a busy month for us when it comes to birthdays and other celebrations. A total of eight I think. Yes, and our anniversary too. Eleven years married.


And so a celebration cake is always sitting on our counter, more than likely chocolate. After all it needs no season right? Moist, easy, no hassle and little clean up. Simple, yet always looks like so much effort went into it.


I like to top it with some chocolate whipped cream for special occassions but it works just as well topped with fresh berries and powdered sugar. Even though I have blogged about this recipe before, it was Maryam who prompted this post.


‘Mamma, why are you not taking a picture of the cake?’ And I thought, why not. Even though this cake has graced the blog, sometimes there is nothing like on old favorite. Something comforting, like a soft old blanket. Weathered, frayed at the ages, used a multitude of times but cocoons like no other.


And that is exactly what this cake does.  


One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Whipped Frosting

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup hot brewed coffee
2 eggs
4 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups whipping cream

Directions:
Preheat oven to 175 degrees Centigrade and grease and flour two 6 inch cake pans. In a bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Create a well in the centre and add all the rest of the ingredients except coffee. Mix well until combined and then add coffee. Mix once again (the batter will be very runny). Pour into greased pans and bake in the middle rack in the oven for approximately 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out just clean. Cool on a wire rack.
To make the frosting, heat the whipping cream in a pan to a simmer (do NOT boil). Add to it chocolate chips and stir to combine until chips have melted. Regrifgerate until cool and whip until stiff peaks form.

Cream will not whip if boiled or if not completely cold before whipping.

Cake recipe from Allrecipes.com

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Eton Mess Trifle


To say it has been humid lately would be an understatement. And hot too. My hair is resembles an Afro wig, my skin sweaty to the point that it is difficult to separate skin from clothes, my eye glasses fog every time I leave the apartment.


I am typing this as I sit under a a cloud of billowing cold air blasting from the AC. Sipping a cold ambrosia melon, lemongrass and bruised mint granita to nurse this heat hangover. My eyes are heavy, drooping from the weight of the sun. The sun which only grazed my body for those few minutes as I walked briskly from the elevator to my car on my way to to do the school run. That was more than enough.


Yet, we aren’t even in the thick of summer. The temperatures are still set to soar, this is the mere beginning. We have already been trying in vain to beat the heat by lounging by the pool, playing with sprinklers, opening the fridge for a gasp of cool air.


To keep cool in this weather, I usually find solace in the form of slushies….any fruit will do. Whirled with a few bricks of ice, sometimes yoghurt and a touch of honey or sugar. We’re ready to go…..and when I say go, I mean fast. Or you’ll see it melt before you.


But before I give you the recipe for the melon slushy, let’s talk about these strawberries. The ones that disappeared from our Farmer’s markets weeks ago. The ones that I barely had a chance to nibble on before their time was up.


Yet, whose sweetness still lingers in my mouth. Strawberry season may be over in Dubai but we’re still able to find them in their troves thanks to American and British seasons. And nothing cools and soothes like strawberries with cream. A gentle cooling balm in this scorching weather.

I decided to make this classic British dessert with a Middle Eastern twist. A splash of rosewater in the meringues and a scattering of pistachio nuts. You may leave both these out if you are so inclined. Meringues has also been on my wish list to both bake and eat for the first time.



My first few attempts were disastrous- sugar syrup weeped from the meringues during baking (I didn’t beat the caster sugar and egg whites sufficiently. Make sure it doesn’t feel grainy or else beat them more). My second attempt didn’t even make it ot the oven. I added vinegar and the meringue curdled. But third time lucky and one more dessert marked off the bucket list.


A slushy melts before me and an afternoon nap beckons so I will be off. Stay cool until next time…..

Eton Mess Trifle

Ingredients:
3 egg whites
2 pinches salt
3/4 caster sugar
1 tsp rosewater (optional)
handful chopped pistachio nuts
10 ounces strawberries
2 tbs caster sugar
500 ml whipping cream
4 tbs caster sugar
chopped pistachios for garnish

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Centigrade and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Tip the egg whites into a clean and dry mixing bowl and start beating at medium speed. Add the salt, Whisk until frothy. Whisking at high speed, start adding the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking 3-4 seconds between each addition. Whisk until stiff peaks form. The meringue will appear very glossy and puffy like clouds. It should not feel gritty (If it does, keep whisking until sugar has dissolved). Add the rose essence if desired and whisk for 30 seconds until incorporated. Scoop a large tablespoon of the mixture onto the baking tray, using another tablespoon to ease it onto the parchment paper. Leave a 1 inch gap between meringues. Sprinkle with pistachio and bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hrs, rotating after 1 hour. I baked mine for 1 hour and 20 minutes to achieve a crispy outer shell and a marshmallow centre. Bake for longer if you’d like it crispy all the way through. Turn the oven off and leave the door open. Allow meringues to cool in open oven. Break roughly by hand.

Hull the strawberries and chop roughly. Add the caster sugar and allow to macerate for 30 minutes. Whiz into a puree. Beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form (I added sugar to mine but that is optional). Fold the strawberry puree into the cream roughly to create a marbled effect.

To assemble the trifle, start with a layer of strawberry and cream followed by a layer of broken meringues and lastly, a sprinkle of pistachio nuts. Repeat layers 3-4 times and serve immediately.

Makes 5-6 trifles depending on glass size. Unbroken meringues can be stored in airtight container for 2 weeks.




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Creamy Pea and Mint Spaghetti



I’ve been meaning to tell you about this creamy pea, mint and cilantro spaghetti with chili for a while now. Over a month to be exact.  But I was so excited about my holiday and then these juicy grilled chops that I completely forgot. So let’s rewind a month or so.


It all began with a slight cough one morning, an extra yawn on the drive to school. I didn’t think much of it. It was the last day of the week and we were all tired.


But then I got that dreaded phone call from the nursery. My heart always skips a beat when I get a call from there. I just knew something was wrong. ‘Maryam has a fever of 38.5, can we give her Calpol?’ asked her nursery nurse. On my way to pick her up, I thought back to the morning and that tired faraway look in her eyes.


Things went from bad to worse as her fever peaked to nearly 41. Akber took her to emergency at 4 am. It was a rough night. We all lay in on Friday including Hassan. He probably knew I just didn’t have the energy after being awake round the clock the night before.


For once though, I woke before Maryam did. Usually, she tip toes into my room and wakes me up with the biggest smile but the fever had hit her hard. As she rested, I took the opportunity to make one of her favorite meals. Isn’t that what Moms do when their loved ones are ill?


Pasta has always been a household favorite of everyone’s including her. We have a myriad different ways we eat them as I’ve mentioned before. I decided to add a few other ingredients she loves such as peas and parmesan cheese. I knew it would be polished off in no time. Bar the mint that is, which she detests. Or ‘seaweed’ as she calls it. However, I did add that and chopped red chili for extra flavor on our plates.


It was quite a sight to see the ‘process’ of her dissecting this meal. She first searched for the hidden shelled peas in the spaghetti and cream maze. Pop into her mouth, one by one. Then came the snap peas followed by its sturdier cousin, the sugar snap variety. Like a game. Meals are always more fun that way right.



Creamy Pea and Mint Spaghetti

Ingredients:500 gms spaghetti (or enough for four servings)
1 cup shelled peas
1/4 cup sugar snap peas
1/4 cup snow peas
3 tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups single cream
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated parmesan plus extra to serve
2 tbs cilantro, chopped
2 tbs mint, chopped
1 red chili, chopped

Directions:
Boil spaghetti according to instructions till al dente and drain. In salted boiling water, blanch the peas for 2 minutes. Drain and wash with cold waater to stop the cooking process. In a pan, heat olive oil and add the onion and garlic and saute till onions are translucent. Add the cream, red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and add the parmesan. Stir in the cooked spaghetti, blanched peas and chopped herbs. If the sauce appears thick, you can thin it down with water. Garnish with extra parmesan and chopped chili.



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Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart with Peanut Praline Brittle



Every once in a while, I have the urge to declutter and cleanse. Every part of my life- from my make up bag to the pantry as well as the fridge and freezer. There is nothing better than opening your wardrobe to find all your clothes arranged neatly according to color. Or opening the kitchen cupboard and staring in awe at all the jars labeled alphabetically.


Yes, you could say I am rather obsessed with being a clean freak- everything must be orderly and organised. This year, Maryam joined in my spring cleaning spree. Together, we went through her toys and systematically sorted out what she loves to play with and what is currently tossed to one side. As I kept putting more and mroe toys to the ‘chairty’ pile, every time I turned my head the pile became smaller and smaller.


She would putting the toys back saying she still ‘needed’ them. In the end, we collectively agreed on what toys she would be giving away to those less fortunate. It was a great activity to do together, to make her realise the importance of charity, of giving, of sharing. Yet, it also made me more conscious of how wasteful we can be.

Perhaps the best part of cleaning sprees is that moment of discovery. When you find hidden money in the sofa, when you stumble upon an outfit that is almost as good as new, when leftover tart dough is unearthed from the depths of your freezer.


And that is exactly how this tart came to be. I had made this tart dough a while back when I made these pear crumble tarts for Mowie’s magazine. I decided to top them with smooth and velvety chocolate mousse and a kiss of peanut butter. Then you bite into it and there is a crackling explosion in your mouth. It’s the crackle of peanut praline brittle. It was the icing on the cake after a hard day of cleaning.


Me and Maryam quietly ate one each at the end of the day, a twinkle of excitement in both our eyes. She- because she chanced upon a singing stuffed toy in her toy box. I- because I discovered a long lost yellow dress, perfect for spring.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart with Peanut Praline Brittle

Ingredients:
Tart dough:
200 gms butter, room temperature
100 gms sugar
1 egg
300- 350 gms all purpose flour

Mousse filling:
200 ml whipping cream
1 tbs peanut butter
50 gms milk chocolate
100 gms dark chocolate

Peanut praline brittle:
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbs water

Directions:
To make tart bases, cream the butter and sugar using the paddle attachment on your mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Stir in 300 grams of flour. If the mixture doesn’t clean the sides of the bowl, keep adding more flour a tablespoon at a time until it does. Shape the dough into a disc and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade. Grease your tart bases and roll out the tart dough using minimal flour to a 1/4 inch thickness. Fill the tart bases and cut off any excess (can be stored in the freezer). Pierce the tarts with a fork and bake for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.

Place the peanuts on baking paper placed over a baking tray. To make the peanut praline brittle, mix the sugar and water in a heavy bottom saucepan and bring to the boil (do NOT stir but swirl the pan). Boil for a minute and reduce the heat. Simmer mixture until it turns a golden color. Quickly pour the syrup over the peanuts and tilt the tray to coat all the peanuts. Work quickly as the toffee sets very quickly. Refrigerate until completely cool. Place in a food processor and pulse a few times.

To make the mousse, whip the cream to soft peaks. Heat chocolate and peanut butter until melted and fully incorporated over a bain marie (can use a microwave). Cool completely and quickly fold into the whipped cream. Spread into the cooled tart bases and sprinkle with peanut praline brittle. Can serve as is or refrigerate and serve cold.

Makes 6 tarts. Extra dough can be frozen.

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Cappuccino Truffles

I have always wanted to celebrate Christmas. I yearned for all things festive- glittering decorations, sparkling trees, a frosty winterland when I peek outside my window, intricately decorated cookies. In fact, one of the highlights of living in London was getting caught up in the spirit of Christmas.


The beautiful lights that lined Oxford Street, the food hall at Harrods adorned with exquisite delicacies, even the romantic adverts on TV. I was especially keen on the Marks and Spencer adverts which came out every Christmas.


However, my mum was never keen on the idea. We never celebrated Christmas as she always wanted to hold on to our culture, traditions and religion. And now that I am a mother, I understand that. However, I do want Maryam to enjoy the holiday period. The festive Christmas nursery rhymes, the magical aura of Santa. A winter wonderland full of snow, elves and reindeers.


Living in the middle of a desert means some elements need to be left to the imagination. However, we did celebrate in our own little way by attending a lovely gingerbread decorating session at Sally’s house. Later that week, Maryam helped me wrap a present for a round of Secret Santa at nursery. She had a wonderful party there with lots of cookies, mince pies and learnt some new Christmas nursery rhymes which all the children sang in front of the parents. Besides devouring cookies, her favorite part of the day was sitting in Santa’s lap and receiving her present.


That glow of excitement and amazement in her eyes at the sight of Santa appearing from behind the Christmas tree was priceless. I’m really glad we have found a great balance of being able to celebrate and embrace different holidays, festivals and cultures whilst still holding onto our own identity.


This is the perfect time to share these truffles with you that I made for Mowie’s Christmas Issue. Perfect bite sized treats with a kick of coffee and a crunch from the pecans. I also made some pear tarts with a chocolate crumble, some hazelnuts and coffee. You can get the recipe for the pear tarts here (page 142 onwards).

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas with their loved ones with plenty of snow, laughter, cookies and presents. And of course plenty of family time.



Click on recipe to print

Cappuccino Truffles:

Ingredients:
150 gms white or dark chocolate (I used white)
80 ml double cream
2 tsp coffee powder
30 gms pecans, finely chopped
1 tbs butter, room temperature
Mixture of Dutch processed cocoa powder and coffee powder for rolling

Directions:
Chop the chocolate finely and place in a bowl. In a pan, bring the cream and coffee powder to a boil and pour over the chopped chocolate. Stir in the chopped pecans and butter. Use a wooden spatula to whisk the mixture until a homogeneous ganache is formed. Cover the bowl with a cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until the ganache is set.

Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and using a teaspoon or a melon scooper, scoop small balls into the palms of your hand and roll into balls. Place on wax paper and back into the fridge for another 30 minutes.

Sift a mixture of cocoa powder and coffee powder into a bowl. Roll each truffle into the mixture and shake off any excess powder with your hands or in a sieve. Serve the truffles at room temperature or store in an air tight container for up to a few weeks.

Makes approximately 16-20 truffles depending on size.  

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